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Alberta: ATB launches platform for startups to crowd-source loans

Alberta: ATB launches platform for startups to crowd-source loans

Posted by PanamericanWorld on March 28, 2016

Alberta entrepreneurs now have a new way to crowd-source funding for new projects.

On the heels of their Alberta BoostR program – which allowed businesses to raise money by giving rewards for donations – ATB Financial has launched the ATB LendR program.

Unlike BoostR, with LendR Albertans aren’t donating money in exchange for a reward. Instead they’re giving loans, with the hope that loan will one day be repaid with interested.

“If you believe in the idea, the strategy or want to support a business in your community, this is an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is and support,” said Wellington Holbrook, ATB’s vice president, business.

One an entrepreneur reachs half of its funding goal, ATB will provide the remaining half, completing the loan. ATB will also collect payments and distribute it back to LendRs.

Calgary entrepreneur James Belcher was one of the first to sign onto the program as a founding LendR, looking for business to contribute to.

“Being an entrepreneur myself, I know the struggles – the knocking on doors and hearing quite a few ‘no’s’ before you get something who is committed,” he said.

Belcher is launching a global street food restaurant on Calgary called Paper ST, with menu inspirations from southeast Asia, where he was born, and more.

Belcher said the program will be great in helping Calgarians realize their dreams and goals, and helping the economy diversify.

“I’m not in the oil patch, but Alberta has really been driven by that and relied on it for a long time,” he said. “Now we really see that handicap of that reliance, when things go sour.”

 
 
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